With a ‘Touch of Grey,’ Bob Weir opens tour in Reno
Bob Weir, 71, threw his own birthday bash Tuesday night in the Biggest Little City in the World, opening a 19-concert tour at Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort and Casino with the Wolf Bros (Don Was and Jay Lane). Following a two-set, 16-song performance, the musicians delivered a fitting encore — “Touch of Grey.”
Posting a rehearsal photo on Facebook shortly before the show, Weir acknowledged fans’ support: “Thank you for all of the kind birthday wishes!” After the performance, he noted: “And just like that we’re off and running… Cheers to the biggest little city in the world!”
Over the weekend, Weir shared a photo of himself with rocker Sammy Hagar, who is three days older than he is: “Happy B’day Slambo Hagar, ya old fuck. I can’t believe they still let us get away with this…”
The music never stopped Tuesday night, much to the delight of the thousands of Deadheads gathered to pay tribute. The Grateful Dead guitarist played both acoustic and electric, joined by Was on upright bass and Lane on drums.
Between sets, Weir’s spouse, Natascha Münter, brought a cake onstage and Was led a chorus of “Happy Birthday.”
Weir and the Wolf Bros opened the concert with “Jack Straw,” first performed by the Grateful Dead in October 1971. Keep a rolling / Just a mile to go / Keep on rolling, my old buddy /You’re moving much too slow. After that song, there were 16 still to go.
In a walk-up to the ambitious concert tour, Weir explained how it all came together.
“Wolf Bros is something that really took its roots back in the spring of 2015 when Don Was came up to (TRI Studios) and helped us piece together Dead & Company. For a while now, I’ve been itchin’ to explore our songs in a trio setting. An upright bass, my acoustic or electric guitar and a drummer. We did some rehearsals this past spring and it was big fun — and that’s the whole idea. We were kickin’ around Dead songs as well as tunes from my back pages. I’m pretty sure we’re gonna have a big adventure with this…”
A founding member of the Grateful Dead, Bob Weir is one of rock’s finest and most distinctive rhythm guitarists. In 2016, he released “Blue Mountain” on Columbia/Legacy, his first album of solo material in more than 10 years and his first album of entirely original material in more than 30 years. Weir is a member of Dead & Company which features Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti.
Don Was founded the 1980s funk-rock band Was (Not Was), known for hits such as “Walk The Dinosaur” and “Spy In The House Of Love.” As an in-demand, highly acclaimed producer, Was has been honored with four Grammy Awards for his production work in each of the past three decades, including Best Album honors for work with The Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt.
His production credits include The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Gregg Allman, John Mayer and Neil Young, to name only several. Albums produced by Was have achieved dozens of multi-platinum, platinum and gold certifications and have sold more than 90 million copies worldwide. As one of music’s top bass players, Was has collaborated with countless musicians throughout his career, spanning a multitude of genres.
San Francisco-based drummer Jay Lane played with Bob Weir’s RatDog for more than 16 years. He was also one of the first drummers of Primus. More recently, Lane has performed with a collections of artists including Phil Lesh and Friends.
Bob Weir and Wolf BrosGrand Sierra Resort, RenoTuesday, Oct. 16, 2018
Me and My Uncle
Only a River
She Belongs to Me
Ashes and Glass
Don’t Let Go
Ashes and Glass
Me and Bobby McGee
The Music Never Stopped
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Touch of Grey
BOB WEIR AND WOLF BROS TOUR
Grand Sierra Resort
The Theatre at Ace Hotel
Los Angeles, CA
Santa Barbara, CA
Delta Hall at Eccles Theater
Salt Lake City, UT
The Chicago Theatre
Port Chester, NY
Port Chester, NY
Boch Center Wang Theatre
New York, NY
ABOUT Clare Foster
Clare Foster finds some sort of balance in the place she has called home for 27 years, the North and West shores of Lake Tahoe. If she isn't out listening to and photographing live music, she is either down by the lake or wandering in the woods taking photos or, working on a new book. Check out Clare's website.